how long do you have??


In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 10, 2008
There is such a lot of information on here its fantastic!

I was hoping someone could tell me how long do you have between the time the hen lays the egg until you get it into the incubator? Does it still need to be 'warm'?

I have checked those great photos of fertile eggs and I think my rooster is doing his job, as can see the 'dot'!!!!!

Thanks for you advice,
eggs will stay good about 7-14 days after that the rate drops, also store them around 60ish.... some people turn the eggs once or twice a day, some dont turn in till they go into the bator. Good luck in hatching !!!!!
Eggs actually do better kept cool until incubating. People have even hatched refrigerated eggs with good luck but the suggested storage temp for the best hatch rate is between 60-70F. Store large end up. Most people say turning helps and you can do it easily by just sticking something under one end of a carton and switching which way it's tilted every day.
I actually read in a hatching book early on that hatching eggs do best if they have a day to settle and cool after they are laid. I think it was Stromberg's book that eggs a few hours old do worse than ones that have had 24 hours.
But we put alot of thought into egg hatching, but truthfully eggs are forgiving to a degree, but we always want the optimum conditions to get the best hatch.
We would probably all have less questions if we would watch how the chickens do it. If you have noticed a hen that goes broody, she will wait at least a few hours, if not a day after laying, before she goes setting on them. She will also turn all the eggs, once a day, whenever she goes to lay in the nest, then she turns them repeatedly while setting on it. Now if only we had the time to sit on a bunch of eggs and sweat, we wouldn't have the trouble that some of us have!!
Thanks for the great advice, and sorry I did mean the bullseye, new to chicken speak....

So whens all's said and done I have a bit of time up my sleeve between laying and placing in an incubator.

So next questions do you count the days until hatching from the daythe hen layed the egg or the day they start in the incubator, because as swtangel321 has said 7-14 days the egg will stay good and I am assuming this is before you put them in your incubator.

Thanks and Cheers
The days start counting when they go into the incubator. What I've been wondering after reading all the incubation posts is whether it should really count from when the eggs warm up to the point of developing. So how long does it take the egg to warm up to the internal temp necessary to start the embryo developing? 24 hrs? less? I don't know....I'm probably being too technical about it all....It does have me curious, though, and that might explain why the hatch dates are sometimes off....

(I'll shut up now)
I start counting the day after I place them, but that's just me. I placed these eggs on Thursday night and counted Friday as day 1.
If you set the eggs in the morning, then you count that day as day 1. If you set them later in the day, then that is day 0, day one starts the next day.

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